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Phonotactic Reduplication in Ende

Handout for Annual Meeting on Phonology 2018

Kate L. Lindsey, Stanford University

Claim: Infinitival reduplication in Ende consists of a weak or ghost morpheme in the input that
alternates with zero, in order to repair word minimality violations.

 There are two types of reduplication in Ende.

o Canonical reduplication is strong, applies to all word types regardless of size and has a
consistent meaning: diminutive, augmentative, plural, adverbial, etc.
o Phonotactic reduplication is weak, only applies to monosyllabic infinitival verb roots and has an
inconsistent meaning: plural subject/patient number for Class A verb roots and nonplural
subject/patient number for Class B verb roots.
 Examples of adverbial reduplication (canonical) can be found with all verb roots
 Examples of infinitival reduplication (phonotactic) can only be found of verb roots that are monosyllabic
and monomorphemic.
o The infinitival reduplicative morpheme is in complementary distribution with subject/patient
number morphemes of other types.
Verb class Nonplural Plural
A -ɲ, -n, -əŋən, -l, -ɽ RED-/-nen
B RED- -nen
C -ɐb/-ɐm -ɐjb/-ɐjm
D -ŋɡ -meɲ
o If the verb root does not have a subject/patient number morpheme of another type, it will
reduplicate, but only if it’s monosyllabic. Otherwise, the verb root is unaffected.
 This pattern, in which an idiosyncratic element (dis)appears only to repair a markedness constraint, is
akin to weak or ghost elements in other languages, like:
o French liaison consonants, Ende floating nasals, Yawelmani suffixes, Chaha imperative
palatalization, Shoshoni final geminates, Chaha object labialization, Ahousaht suffix onsets,
Catalan masculine plurals, etc.
 This type of pattern is a problem for standard OT, where identical inputs are assumed for segments with
different behaviors.
o Solution A: different grammars with same input (lexical ordering, cophonologies)
 Problem: must posit a constraint that penalizes realization of a very specific part of the
input (*RED). Such a constraint is unlikely to be useful outside of these few lexemes in
this one language.
o Solution B: different inputs with same grammar (gradient markedness)
 Some elements in the input are “weaker” than other elements. (Smolensky & Goldrick
2016; Zimmermann 2018).
 Captures intuitive generalization and explains these types of patterns
 Why not an autosegmental analysis?
o An autosegmental approach assumes that weak elements differ from full elements in that they
lack the structural nodes connecting the segment to the tier.
o How to apply to a reduplicative morpheme which is assumed to lack the segments but consist
only of the structural nodes?
 Does gradient markedness require harmonic grammar?
o Standard OT-style ranking of constraints is sufficient for Ende phonotactic reduplication
Attend Eva Zimmermann’s talk today at 4:00: Gradient Symbolic Representations and the Typology of
Ghost Segments: An Argument from Gradient Markedness.